Given how many people are getting scammed, I can’t say this enough — Be careful with the information you post on social media.
This may seem harmless enough to you, but your high school, your first car, or your mother’s maiden name all put together is enough information to start building a pretty good profile of you.
Those quizzes you find on Facebook and other social media might seem like fun distractions or a way to pass time. But you risk putting yourself in danger.
This is a serious enough issue that we issued a warning from the Better Business Bureau last week.
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Not all social media quizzes are data collection scams; However, again, you need to be careful what you share online and know who is really behind that post.
Social media data and quiz answers can be used to impersonate you or allow a scammer to pose as your friends and family.
Here’s how it works: A fun quiz appears on your Facebook feed or other social media platform. Let’s test your IQ, or how well do you know a friend, answer a few questions. Or a short personality test is offered to match a character from a favorite TV show. These quizzes seem meaningless, but the real goal is to collect information.
Most of the answers you give are often common security questions for insurance, bank, and credit card accounts. Sharing this information can lead to account takeovers and theft of personal and financial information.
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Here are some BBB tips to avoid social media scams.
Be skeptical: Before taking a quiz, find out who created it. Is it a brand you trust? Just because something looks fun and innocent doesn’t mean there isn’t inherent risk.
Adjust privacy settings: check the privacy settings of the social network account; be strict about any information shared; and be careful who you share it with. • Remove personal information from your profile: Do not share your phone number or home address on social media accounts.
Don’t answer common security questions: Be careful if quiz questions ask for things like your mother’s maiden name, the street you grew up on, vehicles you’ve owned, food favorites or the name of your high school.
Watch for friend requests. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Also beware of a second friend request from someone you’ve already connected with; the second profile may be an impostor trying to access your data and friends list.
Here is the safest suggestion I can offer. If you want to spend some time? Do it the old fashioned way. Discover the crossword or Sudoku game that you will find in today’s newspaper. Really challenge yourself and do it in ink.
If you’re wondering if you missed the deadline to enter or nominate a business for the BBB’s 2021 Rockford Regional Torch Awards, you haven’t. You have until February 17.
As a customer, you can nominate a company. As a business owner, you can introduce yourself. The Torch Awards are our most prestigious awards and votes of confidence.
Winning these awards demonstrates that a company not only embraces the high standards promoted by the BBB, but also integrates and embodies these standards in its day-to-day operations. To enter or nominate, go to BBB.org/chicago and click on the Torch Awards link.
Dennis Horton is Director of the Better Business Bureau’s Rockford Regional Office.